Q: In my eighty years of life, I have had to have crowns and bridges redone from time to time due to decay forming underneath. Some of these crowns have been less than 5 years old. Is there any new technology that can prevent this?..Daniel G. in Boca
A: I’m on the case! With time, some crowns will have recurrent decay. This can be caused by several factors, loose fit allowing the cement to wash out, trapping bacteria under the crown, gum recession (either due to aging or periodontal disease) subjecting the exposed root to decay causing bacteria, and most often, these days, the many medications patients take which cause a dry, acidic mouth resulting in root caries (decay below the gum line.)
You can try to prevent recurrent decay by getting a cleaning every three months instead of six, use artificial saliva substitutes for dry mouth and, always floss and brush twice per day and after meals. Your dentist can also use a new hi-tech crown cement from the people who brought us Volvo and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Launched in Sweden in 2009 Ceramir, a bioceramic luting cement has recently come to the USA. This new cement has better integration with tooth structure, an alkaline pH, which discourages acid-producing bacteria, an initial release of fluoride and is not weakened by moisture. Contact us for free consumer info on this great technology.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Cosmetic, Implant and General Dentistry in Palm Beach and hosts “Tooth Talk” on WBZT AM1230 (www.radiotoothtalk.com) Dr. Mitchell Josephs is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry and completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.
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